Luis Severino continues to struggle, which is discouraging

Luis Severino had a chance to go ahead in the starting rotation competition against Team Canada on Wednesday afternoon.

Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Severino had noticeably poor fastball command, which led to him allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four. The only positive to come out of Severino’s start was his command with the changeup.

“Being down in the zone is important for him, and when he got up today, he got hurt,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the Yankees defeated Team Canada 10-4 on Wednesday afternoon. “It all comes down to location. When he got the ball down, they didn’t swing or they didn’t have a good swing. So for him, it’s making that adjustment.”

Severino isn’t the only one struggling in the rotation competition; Bryan MitchellAdam WarrenChad Green and Luis Cessa have all struggled as well.

The Yankees would like Severino to be a big starter for the Yankees, especially since the team believes he has the stuff to succeed. However, Severino has to prove that he’s capable of going through the lineup about two to three times.

That was something Severino couldn’t do last season, which resulted in a demotion.

“Of course I want to be a starter,” Severino said. “I know I have to work on my stuff. I have to work on my fastball command and my slider. I think my changeup right now is very good. I just need to work with Larry (Rothschild) more, that’s it.”

There’s no clear-cut winner of the rotation competition, and considering we’re only in the beginning of March, it makes sense there isn’t. However, Severino has more to lose than the other candidates.

If Severino loses, general manager Brian Cashman said Severino will start the season in Triple-A as a starter. The Yankees would rather have Severino stretched out then add him as a bullpen piece to begin 2017.

“Our focus is trying to figure out who the starters are going to be,” Girardi said. “Of those five guys, we wouldn’t put all three of them in the bullpen. They all have options. They all could for the most part go down in a sense. Anything’s possible. There are no gifts, so you’re going to have to earn your spot.”

That means for Severino, he has to turn his Spring around if he wants a big-league job.

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12 Responses to Luis Severino continues to struggle, which is discouraging

  1. Celerino says:

    The improvement to his changeup is encouraging.

  2. Terry says:

    Crazy. The first time through the young guns looked lights out. All of them. Then the second time through, they all struggled. It will be interesting to see if CC and Mike struggle in their next start. Hopefully one or two of the young guys steps forward to take the open rotation spots. Winning by default would not be good. It's still early but to see a couple of those guys slip back into the same problems they had last year is not encouraging. Let's go guys, step it up!!! We really need all of you!

  3. buckeye balls says:

    he may be one of those guys that struggles a couple of years before he turns it around-dare I say like Koufax, Johnson, Ryan and a few other greats. The problem is the Yanks wont let him go through the growing pains-best scenario may be back to Scranton, put up great stats , include in a package for a deal next year. If they let him pitch in NY this year his stock will plummet and the team will suffer. If they do use him in the majors he should relieve but its too crowded in the bull pen now

    • Jerry says:

      They could put him down for a few starts, hopefully does well and build his confidence back up and then bring him back up. But we still have about 3 weeks to go, hope this all resolves itself.

      • Thomas says:

        They can package him, with others for Quintana. A known future instead of unknown. His value will go down if he goes to the pen for sure.

  4. Nunzio says:

    The pitchers that are available to play this season have a lot to prove, I doubt if three of those starters will be with the team come next year, they either will be on the trade block or never make it up north….. Severino is young but is easy to figure out, he can stay down with the ball but you still need that big strike out down the middle, if he has it he most use it, many think he will be great time will tell and patience like they had with Nova

  5. I'd ignore the results. The Yankees want him to work on the change. If he works on it, and give up 5 homers, but has actually made some progress then that progress is more important than the five homers (although my hypothetical situation probably isn't the best one to use).

    • tom says:

      If Yankees really want him to work on change then he won't be on opening day roster. Remember Gary Sanchez' receiving skill. He stayed there in AAA until he finally showed something. It could happen the same thing to Severino. However, he has problem with throwing changes no matter where he pitches in MLB or AAA.

  6. Balt Yank says:

    It seems like the YANK MGMT is looking at the obvious solution and running the other way. Let him perfect his pitches in the bullpen where he can do well.

    • tom says:

      There is very very very very good chance that he will never throw a change in the bullpen. It is not a good way to improve his pitching skill.

  7. Balt Yank says:

    Hey Tom, wrong. He either will or will not learn the pitch. He was lights out in the bullpen with 2 pitches. Joba Chamberlin was ruined by the Yankee yo-yo. Just let the kid predict his future success by success.

  8. MODOK says:

    Domingo Acevedo and James Kaprielian may stick in the rotation first.

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